I’ve heard that in Colombia, if you have an urge to travel in the New Year (yes ma’am I do), you walk around the house with a suitcase at midnight on the 31st.
In Denmark, if you have a particular wish for the New Year, you make it while jumping off a chair. (If you’ve had too much aquavit or whatever it is Danes drink, this could get ugly.)
In Venezuela, you buy and wear new yellow underwear on New Year’s Eve for good luck in the upcoming year.
Perhaps my favorite ritual is in Japan, where there’s an Abusive Language Festival: You climb a hill to an ancient temple, screaming profanities at whoever caused you trouble in the old year. (When you get to the temple, you chill and get happy.) I think if I had to pick someone to curse at, it could be my cable guy, who thinks that when he says he’ll be there between 9 and 11 it includes 5:30.
Not to be greedy, but wouldn’t one greatly increase one’s chances of overall happiness in the New Year by combining these rituals? I was thinking I could put on yellow underpants and jump off a chair while holding my suitcase and cursing the cable guy. The trouble is, of course, my family would commit me to a mental hospital, and I’d be unable to reap the benefits of my actions. So instead, I think I’ll stick to the American way of ringing in the New Year with a good old mimosa.
(Serves 8-10, unless you want to drink it all yourself, in which case definitely don’t jump off a chair.)
1 cup of fresh orange juice
1 cup orange flavored vodka
1 bottle of champagne
Instructions: Combine the orange juice and vodka in a large pitcher, and add some ice.
Pour in the champagne, mix, and serve in champagne glasses.